The New York Jets got whipped cream on their sundae with the Jermaine Kearse addition. But the reunion with Jeremy Kerley makes little sense.
Jermaine Kearse had a wonderful debut in a New York Jets uniform. He was a consistent chain mover and the league may want to investigate whether he had some stickum on those gloves.
This is exactly why the Jets needed a veteran presence on offense. Kearse is someone the Jets can rely on offensively and show the young bucks how to do things in terms of preparation and how to handle himself.
Our friends over at Pro Football Focus shared this nugget with us after the game:
“Newly-acquired WR Jermaine Kearse (75.8 overall grade) earned the second-highest grade on offense. He caught all 7 of his catchable targets while picking up four first downs. Kearse spent 43 snaps as an outside WR and 12 snaps in the slot.”
The rest of the receivers were alright but didn’t show the consistency in terms of hands that Kearse displayed. But here’s the concern: What do you do when Jeremy Kerley is ready to contribute to the Jets offense?
According to head coach Todd Bowles and Kearse himself, he didn’t play in Week 1 because he didn’t pick up enough of the playbook. If and when Kerley plays, he’s going to be taking away snaps from Stewart or Hansen in the slot.
Youth and development?
In a season that is dedicated to youth and development, it’s an odd situation. While I’m a huge Kerley fan and he can contribute in a lot of ways—in the slot, moving the chains, etc.—who cares?
I know that’s a horrible position to take, but this season isn’t about wins and losses. It has never been. It’s about developing young players for the future. So why are the Jets playing someone with no upside? Someone who isn’t a part of the team’s future?
Playing Kerley negatively impacts the younger guys on the roster in terms of repetitions. The Jets coaching staff is going to be forced to either play him over those younger players or do the same thing the Jets did at the end of his tenure—have him ride the bench.
It’d be one thing if he helped on special teams, but to be frank, I don’t think “Captain Fair Catch” is going to do anything to help the Jets back there. Which the conspirator in me is saying that’s exactly why the Jets brought him in.
Conspiracy theories aside, the Jets offense is going to struggle this season, there’s no question about it. The least they could do is inspire some hope for future seasons with the proper development of those key mid-rounders in Hansen and Stewart.
I know everyone has been dissing Kearse’s impact in the Sheldon Richardson trade, but he’s better than what the Jets had as options in free agency. He was a throw-in for the deal to work, but I think the Jets can turn Seattle’s trash into the Jets treasure for 2017 and beyond.